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He arrived in a blaze of glory -- then had to use coffee shop as his office

GEORGE LEE had to operate his office from Leinster House coffee dock for weeks after entering the Dail.

GEORGE LEE had to operate his office from Leinster House coffee dock for weeks after entering the Dail.

And while he waited for the Oireachtas to find him a space, it was a Fianna Fail TD who actually offered to share his own office.

The Herald has learned that Tallaght backbencher Charlie O'Connor put aside political differences and offered his rival room in his office.

Mr O'Connor who confirmed the story, said: "For weeks on end he had to work in the coffee dock. Nobody seemed to be showing him around."

In a story that reflects badly on Fine Gael's attitude to their star pupil, Mr O'Connor said: "He had his computer set up in the coffee dock for some weeks. I'm not letting out any secrets here because he was in full view of everyone.

"I said to him, even though it probably wasn't very practical, that he could have some desk space in my office, if it helped. He said 'if I'm stuck I'll let you know'."

The situation meant Lee was working in full view of TDs and senators from all parties, Leinster House staff and members of the public who visited the coffee shop.

The picture painted by some of Lee's ex-colleagues is one a man who arrived on the crest of a wave but began to slowly drown in red-tape and formalities.

"I remember when I went on my first few days I needed somebody to show me where the photocopier was and where to get the envelopes. He didn't seem to have that," said Mr O'Connor.





Drudgery

"He wasn't quiet facilitated the way he expected to be.

"He arrived in a blaze of glory but quickly had to face the drudgery of the job. You have to start taking calls about drains."

Asked about the effect, Lee's decision to quit will have, Mr O'Connor said: "He has probably, unwittingly, struck a blow against high-profile candidates going into the Dail.

kdoyle@herald.ie


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